With under 24 hours to go before the 2019 MLB Trade Deadline, the Orioles have made just one deal so far, sending Andrew Cashner to Boston for a couple of low-level prospects.
Now that the newly-singular deadline is almost here, rumors are finally starting to heat up all around the sport. The Orioles’ best player, Trey Mancini, is one of the latest names being mentioned by national reporters.
Sources: Trey Mancini trade market includes interest from #Astros, #Rangers and #Rays, although Houston appears focused on adding a starting pitcher. Texas, while not a strong 2019 playoff contender, is looking for controllable bats. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 30, 2019
Mancini, who has played outfield and first base in his time with the O’s is enjoying a true breakout season. Combining career-high marks in both walk percentage and launch angle with a career-low strikeout rate has led to his best offensive season to date.
The 27-year-old slugger has already hit 24 home runs this season, tying his career-high before we even reach August.
While the Orioles are obvious candidates to sell at this year’s deadline, some players are more straightforward than others. Mancini looks like the biggest question mark. Do Mike Elias and the front office want to keep Mancini in Baltimore to build around, or would they rather use his breakout to acquire more talent and assets for the future?
Mancini won’t be a free agent until 2023, and those years of team control will be very attractive on the open market. Whether or not he’s moved probably comes down to how real the Orioles feel his breakout is and how neatly he fits the team’s competitive window.
Because of those years of control, the O’s won’t be desperate to move him. In reality, they are almost certainly open to any great offer, while still comfortable knowing he could be the face of some pretty lean years in Baltimore.
One positive note from the latest rumors? Houston and Tampa Bay are widely considered two of the three smartest, most forward-thinking organizations in the sport. They may even be numbers one and two, depending on how you feel about the Dodgers.
The fact that franchises as successful and well-run as the Astros and Rays are interested in paying for Mancini highlights just how productive he can be as a player, and it should give Orioles fans confidence if the front office decides to keep him around long term. More often than not, if those two teams are hoping to acquire a player, then that player brings something pretty valuable to the table.
The sole trade deadline could make for an exciting afternoon this July 31, but if the Orioles decide not to move their best asset, that could end up being the most exciting outcome of all for fans in Baltimore.
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